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Sean

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Ive been looking for a project that would give me an excuse to teach myself how to programme micro-controllers.

So here it is the fruits of my labours: If, and I stress IF, it works it should keep the temperature of the must between 19C and 21C. Ive got a heating pad underneath the bucket to come on should the temperature fall to 19C and a refrigeration system to come on should the temp hit 21C.

It also has a red, blue and green LEDs that will show when temp zone Im in. Theres an LED read out to show the temp and Im also recording the temperature every 5min so I can plot the temp curve when done.

IMG_2319.jpg
 

AZMDTed

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I applaud your ingenuity, but I'm not sure that it's necessary, or even good, for the wine to be so finely controlled. While the ambient temperature of the fermentation room is important letting the wine naturally ferment is important too. During ferment the must temp naturally rises which aids in extraction, at least on reds. Regardless, that's an impressive setup.
 

Stressbaby

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I wouldn't use this on a red wine but I'd definitely consider it on whites. I've been thinking of how to develop something like this. But instead of running the wine itself the system, I'm thinking of doing it indirectly, putting the fermenting bucket in a larger tub of water and then recirculating the water in the larger tub of water based on the temp of the must.
 

Sean

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Hi both,

Thanks for your comments. As mentioned I was looking for an excuse to teach myself to programme.

@Ted: Ill let you know how it goes. I live in an apartment in London and I find that I cant keep the temp low. I feel like it is burning too hot. So I want to give it a go with a lower more stable temp.

@Stressbaby: I agree with you on the circulating a coolant through an internal heat exchanger idea. I didnt do it for a few reasons. The biggest is that this was the easiest to do.

My big worry with this rig is that the pump will hurt the yeast. Was limited in what was off the shelf.
 

Floandgary

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Ive been looking for a project that would give me an excuse to teach myself how to programme micro-controllers.

So here it is the fruits of my labours: If, and I stress IF, it works it should keep the temperature of the must between 19C and 21C. Ive got a heating pad underneath the bucket to come on should the temperature fall to 19C and a refrigeration system to come on should the temp hit 21C.

It also has a red, blue and green LEDs that will show when temp zone Im in. Theres an LED read out to show the temp and Im also recording the temperature every 5min so I can plot the temp curve when done.
Gotta love technology,,,, but what would the ancients (Medieval Monks) have to say??? You'd likely be exorcised for consorting with demons. And I do believe that the fruits of their ferments were enjoyed just the same :b
 

Stressbaby

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@Sean,

Do you have two peltier coolers, one on each side of the aluminum cooling plate?

I decided to get off my duff and spec this out with my engineer son...
 

Mismost

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Ink Bird controller and a small chest freezer with a little heater cube for winter use....sit up outside in my shop.

I learned zip about programing micro controllers but the system holds withing one degree of set point and works great for beers and wines.
 

Sean

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@Sean,

Do you have two peltier coolers, one on each side of the aluminum cooling plate?

I decided to get off my duff and spec this out with my engineer son...
Yeah, thats right but the solution isnt great. They get too cold! I think it froze on me yesterday. You might be right that circulating coolant inside the bucket instead of the wine is the better option.

Also still trying to get the program to do what I want it to. Its not turning off when I think it should.
 

Stressbaby

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Yeah, thats right but the solution isnt great. They get too cold! I think it froze on me yesterday. You might be right that circulating coolant inside the bucket instead of the wine is the better option.

Also still trying to get the program to do what I want it to. Its not turning off when I think it should.
Right, after talking it over with my son, sounds like building a cooler that will turn on is the easy part. Controlling it is the tricky part.

We're looking at this TEC paired with an Arduino microcontroller.
 
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Sean

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Right, after talking it over with my son, sounds like building a cooler that will turn on is the easy part. Controlling it is the tricky part.

We're looking at this TEC paired with an Arduino microcontroller.
Thats more or less my solution as well. Im not super happy with it to be honest. Originally tried to have a bank of 4 generators but my cooling block was not long enough....:slp Im not sure if one generator will be enough for you.

Im coming to the conclusion that I need a better solution of cooling block. If youre going for internal coils and use a coolant then I think you'll be ok.

The Arduino is a good choice. Plenty of resources online and easy access to accessories.
 
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Redbird1

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Fun project. I don't have anything to contribute to the build, but the fermentation bucket on that glass table top gives me the heebie geebies. We had a patio table with a top like that shatter on us before. We found glass for a long time afterwards.
 

Sean

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Fun project. I don't have anything to contribute to the build, but the fermentation bucket on that glass table top gives me the heebie geebies. We had a patio table with a top like that shatter on us before. We found glass for a long time afterwards.
Now youve got me worried...
 

Redbird1

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Now youve got me worried...
I'm a worrier by nature. As long as those support bars are touching the glass most of the way across you should be fine. If you need to keep it there and the bars aren't touching the glass very much, I'd probably put something like a sheet of plywood across the top that would carry the weight out to the frame.
 

Ajmassa

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I wouldn't use this on a red wine but I'd definitely consider it on whites. I've been thinking of how to develop something like this. But instead of running the wine itself the system, I'm thinking of doing it indirectly, putting the fermenting bucket in a larger tub of water and then recirculating the water in the larger tub of water based on the temp of the must.
That's very cool and I'm sure you were 'in the zone' and having fun when building it. Kudos. I made a very basic version of this. I just ventured into kits and had started a batch in the winter for the first time. Working in the basement, the temp was struggling to get to 60° F. This was a new issue for me since every other ferment I'd done was in September. I tried to troubleshoot spending as little as possible. Kept it very very basic.
I decided on a large Tupperware bin filled with water (same theory as @stressbaby mentions) and just simply inserting a cheap fish tank heater. The heater was pre-adjusted to maintain a temp between 69° - 72°. I ended up dropping in x2 5gal-10gal heaters into the tub. It worked great. Though not nearly as impressive as your setup
50° basement could have caused some real issues otherwise. I have no concern about lowering the temp for summer ferments though. If I had a high temp fast ferment i would just consider it a variable in how the wines character came to be and roll with it!

IMG_4360.jpg

IMG_4377.jpg
 

Sean

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Nice setup you have there. Looks like youve staked out some space in the basement. Makes me want to move back to North America for the space!



That's very cool and I'm sure you were 'in the zone' and having fun when building it. Kudos. I made a very basic version of this. I just ventured into kits and had started a batch in the winter for the first time. Working in the basement, the temp was struggling to get to 60° F. This was a new issue for me since every other ferment I'd done was in September. I tried to troubleshoot spending as little as possible. Kept it very very basic.
I decided on a large Tupperware bin filled with water (same theory as @stressbaby mentions) and just simply inserting a cheap fish tank heater. The heater was pre-adjusted to maintain a temp between 69° - 72°. I ended up dropping in x2 5gal-10gal heaters into the tub. It worked great. Though not nearly as impressive as your setup
50° basement could have caused some real issues otherwise. I have no concern about lowering the temp for summer ferments though. If I had a high temp fast ferment i would just consider it a variable in how the wines character came to be and roll with it!
 

Ajmassa

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Nice setup you have there. Looks like youve staked out some space in the basement. Makes me want to move back to North America for the space!

My "space" is constantly changing and moving. Can't wait for the day when I set up a permanent space. Would love to do it up proper. Basement had no sink so I'm no longer set up there. I've completely commandeered the second bathroom for now.
Your system, and the others mentioned sounds like a robotics class to me. And looks like something out of "Die Hard". I don't have the passion for electrical DIY's that you do. I just shared what I did for some perspective.
 

CabSauv

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Maybe I'm just new and missing something but a lot of the temperatures everyone is posting here sounds to be on the low end compared to what I've read, discussed, and per yeast instructions. I know different yeast strains have different temperature recommendations but at least for red wines, between 70* and 85* is what's recommended for optimal color and tannin structure, right? Anyway, onto the thread topic...and here I thought fermenting in the laundry room where the radiant heat from the dryer was ingenious. Having 2 kids along with my wife and I, we have enough dirty laundry for our dryer to be running daily and it maintains the laundry room at 75* which is what the yeast instructions recommended the must to be for fermentation to start. Keeping the wine at that perfect temperature seemed to be a key, for me at least, in getting primary fermentation going on all cylinders. Of course I know not everyone has the ideal work space or ideal temperature where they make their wine, but it just seemed like if you were maintaining between those temperatures on purpose I thought you'd want it to be slightly higher (does it just not matter or am I missing something?)
 

Stressbaby

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Maybe I'm just new and missing something but a lot of the temperatures everyone is posting here sounds to be on the low end compared to what I've read, discussed, and per yeast instructions. I know different yeast strains have different temperature recommendations but at least for red wines, between 70* and 85* is what's recommended for optimal color and tannin structure, right? Anyway, onto the thread topic...and here I thought fermenting in the laundry room where the radiant heat from the dryer was ingenious. Having 2 kids along with my wife and I, we have enough dirty laundry for our dryer to be running daily and it maintains the laundry room at 75* which is what the yeast instructions recommended the must to be for fermentation to start. Keeping the wine at that perfect temperature seemed to be a key, for me at least, in getting primary fermentation going on all cylinders. Of course I know not everyone has the ideal work space or ideal temperature where they make their wine, but it just seemed like if you were maintaining between those temperatures on purpose I thought you'd want it to be slightly higher (does it just not matter or am I missing something?)
For reds, the higher temps help with color extraction, etc. But for whites, lower temps help preserve the aromatics. It is my understandnig that commercial wineries often ferment the whites in tanks with cooling jackets over extended periods, sometimes as long as a month.
 

Mismost

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Since I mainly do kits and I have a temp controlled chamber to use....I use it. I ferment on the cool end of the spectrum and just extend the time lines as required. Frankly, I tend to sit em and forget em for a few weeks. after a few weeks, I stir them up and raise the temp up 6-8 degrees for a week and then crash down to around 33 for a couple of weeks. Rack off clear wine and start bulk aging. I've done several of the cheaper kits this way and they seem to like the process.

I have noticed no lack of color or tannins in the reds and the whites are pretty clear.
 

Sean

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Hi All,

So the primary fermentation is complete and now off for 10days of secondary.

The temperature control was not nearly as good as I had hoped. You can have a look for yourselves below. It was a bit of a work in progress but Im amazed at how hot it can get if left to its own devices and how fast too.

There were a few things that explain the wild variations in temp:

A. This was me still working on getting the code to do what I wanted it to.

B. It seems as though my relays are not very good. I dont know if it is because theyre cheap or not enough power being put in to make them switch. I had to hit them to get them to switch. So when asleep there was no one there to knock them and the cooling didnt go on.

C. This is where I was around to give the relays a knock or they were working properly so this is it working as designed.

D. For some reason the cooling wasnt working properly. So I just turned it off as I wanted to let it settle for 12hrs before racking.

Temp Curve.jpg
 
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